NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell finally provided some clarity on the league's timeline for punishment with the new domestic violence policy. While attending an event in Renton, Washington, in advance of Thursday's Seahawks-Packers opener, the commissioner said the league would wait for completion of the legal process before imposing discipline:
"I think the first thing we have to do is let the process play out, get the facts, and make sure you understand all the circumstances," Goodell said. "We don't (know the facts) right now and we're obviously following it very closely. But the policy will be applied uniformly across players, coaches, executives, commissioners. I think we made that very clear in the policy."
For the league to enforce the discipline, Goodell said, a person would have to be "not only charged, but we would wait for the legal system to complete its process, particularly in any case on a first (offender). That's something that's very important to us."
Last week, the league announced this enhanced policy for domestic violence, but they were not entirely clear on the timeline. This seems to make it pretty clear in the case of Ray McDonald. It seems like a second-time offender would be looking at a potentially accelerated process, but for now, McDonald will not be disciplined until more facts are in.
There has been a lot of chatter among the media concerning the 49ers own actions. Jim Harbaugh has said he will wait for due process to play out. Some are taking his use of the term "due process" to mean the completion of the legal process, but as socalisteph wrote Wednesday afternoon, that is likely not the exact definition he is using. Both Coach Harbaugh and GM Trent Baalke have said the team is investigating and looking for information and facts. McDonald practiced with the team on Wednesday, but there is no word yet on whether he will play on Sunday. Based on the most recent comments, it would seem like he will play, but anything could be discovered between now and Sunday. Much like the NFL and 49ers are doing, we'll just have to wait and see what develops.